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Wesley Clark on Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Wesley Clark has a pretty good op/ed on Iraq in today's NY Times (and as regular readers know, I'm not a Clark fan). I think he points to a valid area of weakness in the current plan (at least as I've seen it articulated by the administration and the military).
We need to keep our troops in Iraq, but we need to modify the strategy far more drastically than anything President Bush called for last week.

On the military side, American and Iraqi forces must take greater control of the country's borders, not only on the Syrian side but also in the east, on the Iranian side. The current strategy of clearing areas near Syria of insurgents and then posting Iraqi troops, backed up by mobile American units, has had success. But it needs to be expanded, especially in the heavily Shiite regions in the southeast, where there has been continuing cross-border traffic from Iran and where the loyalties of the Iraqi troops will be especially tested.
I completely agree with his point about the Iranian border. Much has been said about the ongoing attempt by Iran to make the emerging Iraq a client state. The obvious best way to do that is to influence the current political process and support the insurgent shiites now, while quietly extending influence over Iraq's leading clerics and their militias.

It is as important, if not critical, to cut the flow of infiltrators, arms and money coming from Iran dramatically. Their intent is to strengthen the Shiite militias and infiltrate the army so if the opportunity presents itself, they're in the position to overthrow any secular government and help install an Islamic regime friendly to Iran.

Clark then gets into the deployments he thinks would be necessary to carry this out:
We need to deploy three or four American brigades, some 20,000 troops, with adequate aerial reconnaissance, to provide training, supervision and backup along Iraq's several thousand miles of vulnerable border. And even then, the borders won't be "sealed"; they'll just be more challenging to penetrate.
If you think we have problems on the Mexican border, consider the problems encountered with Iran's mountainous border. Much like those we have with the Pakistani/Afganistani border. Technology must become a force multiplier. Redeployment of US forces toward the Iranian border would be effective and it would get about 20,000 troops out of the immediate daily vision of most Iraqis.
We must also continue military efforts against insurgent strongholds and bases in the Sunni areas, in conjunction with Iraqi forces. Over the next year or so, this will probably require four to six brigade combat teams, plus an operational reserve, maybe 30,000 troops.
Here Clark essentially endorses the current plan.
But these efforts must go hand-in-glove with intensified outreach to Iraqi insurgents, to seek their reassimilation into society and their assistance in wiping out residual foreign jihadists. Iraqi and American officials have had sporadic communications with insurgent leaders, but these must lead to deeper discussions on issues like amnesty for insurgents who lay down their arms and opportunities for their further participation in public and private life.
This, of course, is a given. And while the Iraqi and American communications may have been "sporadic" at this point, it's really up to the insurgents isn't it? My guess is they're laying back at this time waiting to see how the Dec 15 elections turn out before exploring anymore avenues for reassimilation. Obviously, especially among Sunni insurgents, they'll be more amenable to reassimilation if Sunnis turn out in decent numbers to vote for the government.
Iraq, for its part, must begin to enforce the ban on armed militias that was enshrined in the new Constitution, especially in the south. Ideally, this should be achieved voluntarily, through political means. But American muscle will have to be made available as a last resort.
Clark's point about the militias is critical. This must be done and it must be done by the Iraqi government. Again, I think Clark jumps the gun just a little. This is something the new government must do, or said another way, it's really not a viable point until after the Dec. 15 election.
As important as these military changes are, they won't matter at all unless our political strategy is rethought. First, the Iraqis must change the Constitution as quickly as possible after next week's parliamentary elections. Most important, oil revenues should be declared the property of the central government, not the provinces. And the federal concept must be modified to preclude the creation of a Shiite autonomous region in the south.
I agree the examination of the Constitution must begin immediately after the seating of the government elected on Dec. 15. There are areas which need to be massaged, changed and modified. But I'm not as convinced as Clark that semi-autonomous regions is necessarily a bad idea. A federal government has less of a chance of becoming a dictatorship than does a strong central government. And that dictatorship doesn't necessarily have to be secular. Given the region and the Iranian influence, it could just as easily become a theocratic dictatorship.

However, it is important that the minority Sunnis be included in sharing the oil revenue, however that is accomplished. Leaving them out only invites a continued insurgency whether US troops are there or not. And that is Clark's next point:
Also, a broad initiative to reduce sectarian influence within government institutions is long overdue. The elections, in which Sunnis will participate, will help; but the government must do more to ensure that all ethnic and religious groups are represented within ministries, police forces, the army, the judiciary and other overarching federal institutions.
I think this is obvious and has been the plan all along. But planning and executing are two different things. We'll get an indication as to how successful the current plan of inclusion has been by watching the Dec. 15 elections and the Sunni vote. It can't be overemphasized that their participation in good numbers is critical to the success of the government which will be seated. If they participate in decent numbers, the legitimacy of the government will be unquestioned. Then it can deal with militias, with the Iranian border, with insurgents and with the constitution. And it will have the backing of the majority of Iraqis as it does so.
And we must start using America's diplomatic strength with Syria and Iran. The political weakness of Bashar al-Assad opens the door for significant Syrian concessions on controlling the border and cutting support for the jihadists. We also have to stop ignoring Tehran's meddling and begin a public dialogue on respecting Iraqi independence, which will make it far easier to get international support against the Iranians if (and when) they break their word.
I'm not sure what "diplomatic strength" Clark thinks we have with Iran as none in particular has been demonstrated by any administration since the Carter administration. Iran has never bowed to diplomatic pressure since the fall of the shah. I have little confidence they'd do so now. So perhaps diplomacy is better suited for use after a military demonstration of our seriousness about Iraq (such as some military operations along the Iranian border). As for Syria, yes, I think that diplomatic overtures are appropriate there and I also think, given the mood in Jordan, that that country should also be used to bring some pressure on Syria as well, or at least be used by the US as an intermediary in any diplomatic effort.

Clark then gets into politics and the assertion that our troops are "dangerously overstretched" and that's effecting recruiting and retention. Well it has effected recruiting for one military service, but if it has effected retention, the effect has been to see record reenlistments and not the other way around.

Regardless of Clark's political finish (he's going to throw his hat into the Presidential ring again I would guess), his points about the strategy in Iraq as it pertains to Iran and the militias are valid. The first part, the Iranian border, can be done without waiting on the Dec. 15th elections. The second part, concerning the militias, must wait on the duly elected Iraqi government to handle. That doesn't mean, however, that we can't be pressuring them to make that a priority very soon after Dec. 15.
 
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Who cares about Iraq anymore?

Besides the people who have loved ones over there, the Iraq disaster has no effect whatsoever on the vast majority of Americans.

Ooooh, Saddam it out of power! So what? Ooooh, schools are rebuilt! Yeah, and? Ooooh, they close the border with Syria! Big freaking deal.

Most Americans once supported the war, now most oppose it. Next stop: apathy.

The war is really quite meaningless at this point.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
Most Americans once supported the war, now most oppose it
That’s patently false. Polls show disapproval of the way the war is being handled, not disapproval of the war itself. Many people, such as myself, see the problems outlined in this post as a major issue.

Many of those who you think ’oppose the war’ actually want a tougher war.
Ooooh, Saddam it out of power! So what? Ooooh, schools are rebuilt! Yeah, and?
Well, damn. So much for expecting some humanity out of you. And I thought it was the right who were heartless.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
Polls show disapproval of the way the war is being handled, not disapproval of the war itself.
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Most Americans think going to war was the wrong thing to do and want to see troops pulled out of Iraq, according to a new poll.

Doh!
So much for expecting some humanity out of you.
Why should I care about rebuilt schools or ANY of the social engineering in Iraq? It does absolutely NOTHING for me, my family, my community, my state or my country.

 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,230 registered voters nationwide last week.
United States — Population: 295,734,134
That’s .000004% of the US population, not ’most’. Not very reliable in my book. I can poll a handful of people and get any statistic I want.
Why should I care about rebuilt schools or ANY of the social engineering in Iraq? It does absolutely NOTHING for me, my family, my community, my state or my country.
The same reason I should care that some kid in another county gets a decent education. Educated children are less likely to grow up to be criminals. In this case, educated Iraqi children will be less likely to grow up to be enemies of the United States. I don’t care if they love us or not, I just care that they don’t try to kill us or breed a culture that wishes so.

For example, I loath France. I have no desire to visit unless I’m just going to see the Louvre. But as much disdain as I have for that shit hole, I refuse to buy into any campaign to attack them.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
It does absolutely NOTHING for me, my family, my community, my state or my country.
Wow. Just...wow.

You’re right. It doesn’t affect your family. In fact, you’ve convinced me that I should cancel my World Vision sponsor child because really she’s just costing me money - because hey, it doesn’t affect me or my family either way.

Screw em.

Thanks!




 
Written By: Derek
URL: http://
"That’s .000004% of the US population, not ’most’. Not very reliable in my book. I can poll a handful of people and get any statistic I want."

Um, Robb, come on. Most opinion polls only poll a few thousand people anyway. What’s relevant is the structure of the sample—whether they’re likely to get a good spread of public opinion from all over the demographic map. There certainly are good reasons to be critical of polls—I wouldn’t trust one at all without seeing the internals and the full questionnaire—but this isn’t really one of them.
 
Written By: Matt McIntosh
URL: http://conjecturesandrefutations.net
Clark was against the war originally, right?
So let me get this straight. This Op/Ed was about what the US needs to do to end our presence in Iraq with a victory. That means, when he says "the government must", he’s really saying the US needs to persuade, force, or otherwise bring about what he’s advocating.

Just so we’re clear:
Meddling with another nation by removing a brutal (but secular!) dictator who gasses, rapes, tortures, and murders his citizens and those of neighboring countries: Bad
Meddling with another nation by making them have an inclusive religious govt, or preferably, a secular one: Good

It’s nice to see Democrats reveal their priorities.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://chieflymusing.com
Most opinion polls only poll a few thousand people anyway
Hence why I put 0% faith in them. According to "polls", Bush lost the election before the votes were counted.

Statistics work great on things like hard sciences and math, but not on opinions or personal opinions. There’ve been studies (sorry, no refs on hand) that show people who went door to door with the same questions got different results based on what they were told the responses should be (their results were influenved by what they thought they should get even though they were instructed to read the questions verbatim). In the polls I’ve been on, I’m usually asked ’yes’ or ’no’ questions where the answers aren’t black and white.

The poll that will matter is when people go to vote. Outside of that, everything else is just guesswork.

 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
In this case, educated Iraqi children will be less likely to grow up to be enemies of the United States
You don’t know that.

You’re just vomiting up neocon theory.

Was Mohammed Atta uneducated?
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
You’re right. It doesn’t affect your family. In fact, you’ve convinced me that I should cancel my World Vision sponsor child because really she’s just costing me money - because hey, it doesn’t affect me or my family either way.
You’re equating giving to charity with war and occupation?

That’s absurd.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
You’re right. It doesn’t affect your family. In fact, you’ve convinced me that I should cancel my World Vision sponsor child because really she’s just costing me money - because hey, it doesn’t affect me or my family either way.
You’re equating giving to charity with war and occupation?

That’s absurd.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
You don’t know that.
Actually, I’m more concerned that Iraq becomes a functioning democracy because It is an empirically verifiable fact that democracies don’t go to war with each other, don’t experience famine, and don’t commit genocide. The education thing wasn’t the strongest point, it was just in response to your drivel about

And saying You’re just vomiting up neocon theory is vomit itself as I am not a neocon (and I doubt you could define it without looking it up anyway. Most lefties use it as an obscenity without knowing what it entails).

Finally, it wasn’t an analogy between charity and war, it was and illustration that things you do, even if they are far away, have impact and that impact doesn’t have to have a direct one to one correlation with yourself. In this case, starting even the most basic of democracies in Iraq will assure that there will be one less state sponsor of terrorism in the middle east and that is why I support our actions. Plus, the added bonus of setting a model for other ME states and hope for changes that won’t require military action later.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
(drivel about schools)
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
Robb, Matt’s correct. The confidence interval depends on the size of the sample (not the percentage of the population), and that size sample is large enough to produce an acceptable confidence interval. If the poll is biased, it is likely to be because of the way the questions were phrased, the order in which they were asked, or the fact that the poll takers appear to be from Connecticut (and thus may be injecting their own anti-war biases into the way they intone the questions).
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Actually, I’m more concerned that Iraq becomes a functioning democracy because It is an empirically verifiable fact that democracies don’t go to war with each other, don’t experience famine, and don’t commit genocide.

So what? Iraq never attacked the US when it was ruled by Saddam. And forcing democracy upon Iraq will not prevent fringe religious fanatics from engaging in terrorism. RED HERRING.

Finally, it wasn’t an analogy between charity and war, it was and illustration that things you do, even if they are far away, have impact and that impact doesn’t have to have a direct one to one correlation with yourself.

It was indeed an analogy and it was a bad one. The federal government is not a charity organization. Iraqi schools are not the responsibility of the US taxpayer. Rebuilding schools and other infrastructure in Iraq does not benefit the US taxpaying citizen one iota.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
My company has around 100 terabytes of data. 4 Megs of any of it may actually represent a trend, but it’s better business for us to use 400 gigabytes instead. There are terabyte scratch disks set aside for single reports so that our statistical analysis is closer to reality due to the immense sampling size. My confidence that 1,280 people represent the majority views of Americans is pretty low.

I just don’t trust polls. All through 2003, polls clearly showed Kerry winning. Other polls clearly showed Bush winning. Each of those were probably run through diligent analysis to assure us that each poll represented the majority opinion.

Don’t get me wrong. Trends can be spotted rather quickly even in low numbers. But biases in polls is too easy to conceal (I’m still looking for that study that had people recite questions verbatim and still skewed their numbers) for me to put too much faith in them.

I don’t think the Bush admin was 100% honest with the run up to the war, but I believe it was more to do with OJ’ing the prosecution (having the proof but feeling the need to sex it up, therefor screwing the pooch on the sale) rather than out and out lying. Yeah, we were way wrong, but I never questioned Bush telling me he had WMDs and was a bad man when the previous administration had been telling me the exact same thing for years.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
So what? Iraq never attacked the US when it was ruled by Saddam. And forcing democracy upon Iraq will not prevent fringe religious fanatics from engaging in terrorism. RED HERRING.
I never said fringe elements won’t conduct terror, only state sponsored elements. RED HERRING!!!!
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
I never said fringe elements won’t conduct terror, only state sponsored elements.

So how are US taxpayer funded rebuilt Iraqi schools benefiting Americans? I say they’re not. You twist yourself into knots trying to explain how they do by suggesting they’ll lead to less enemies. You say democracies don’t attack each other, I say so what? A democratic Iraq is no guarantee against fringe groups launching attacks against US targets.

The truth is, you can’t point to any benefits at all to the American people from the war and nation building.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
The truth is, you can’t point to any benefits at all to the American people from the war and nation building.

Damned Marshall plan!

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Damned Marshall plan!

That has nothing to do with the war on Iraq.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
You say democracies don’t attack each other, I say so what?
and I’m tying myself in knots? *Sigh*

Rebuilding the schools are part of the whole process, not the only part. We went in to remove Saddam and his regime. In that process, we demolished the government that Iraq had. Without a government Iraq would absolutely fall into civil war and the body count would have been staggering. So in the interim, we rebuild. That means schools, power, hospitals, aid, etc. By providing an infrastructure for Iraqi’s, they can accelerate their steps towards democracy. True, it won’t be the same type of government that the US enjoys, but then again France, Germany, and Japan don’t have the same either and even if ties are chilly between us, we’re never going to attack one another and as a country support other entities that would attack them.

And one of the hopes is that when Iraq succeeds in becoming a fully functioning democracy that the pressure on neighboring countries will increase from the inside as their own people start seeing how well Iraqi’s live. But it’s not an overnight process, and we can’t just go in, remove their government, and expect everything to take care of itself. I understood this when I started supporting the effort (may surprise you that I was dead set against this in the beginning) and understand it now.

To pull out now would be like yanking the bottom log out in a game of Jenga. Iraqis may not be Americans, but they are humans and for that I have respect. Yes, I wish we could go in and rebuild all the shitty places, but we can’t so we pick the ones that have the most benefit to us and yes that means oil is a factor.

I don’t know you from Adam, skillet, and I’m sorry you can’t see that some of us truly wish that there was no war but that we understand it’s not always unavoidable, nor is it always something we can simply wait on to show up on our shores. People bitched that the government didn’t ’connect the dots’ for 9/11, so when the dots were connected and we did something about it, you bitched again that we didn’t connect the right dots. If sanctions would have removed Saddam from power and freed the people of Iraq, I would have much preferred that, but it was evident he would have ruled for the rest of his life only to be replaced by a son who was even worse.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
I don’t know you from Adam, skillet, and I’m sorry you can’t see that some of us truly wish that there was no war but that we understand it’s not always unavoidable, nor is it always something we can simply wait on to show up on our shores.

War with Iraq was 100% avoidable and 100% unnecessary.
People bitched that the government didn’t ’connect the dots’ for 9/11, so when the dots were connected and we did something about it, you bitched again that we didn’t connect the right dots.

There were no dots connected. There was a CHOICE to engage in war and nation building based on lies, exaggerations and neocon theories.
If sanctions would have removed Saddam from power and freed the people of Iraq, I would have much preferred that, but it was evident he would have ruled for the rest of his life only to be replaced by a son who was even worse.

So what? It’s not our business who rules Iraq or any other sovereign nation. There was no NEED to remove Hussein from power. There was no NEED to engage in nation building in Iraq.

And there are NO BENEFITS to America as a whole from this entire disaster.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
So what? It’s not our business who rules Iraq or any other sovereign nation. There was no NEED to remove Hussein from power. There was no NEED to engage in nation building in Iraq.

And there are NO BENEFITS to America as a whole from this entire disaster.
Whatever. Go isolate yourself with your hatred all you want, I hope it works out for you.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
No need?
What planet ARE you on?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
The poll that will matter is when people go to vote. Outside of that, everything else is just guesswork.

Polls? What polls?? We don’t need no stinkin’ polls!!!

That’s the sort of laissez faire attitude that’s losing support for the administration and other supporters of the war.
Every poll that’s been coming out of late has shown a continuing lack of support. Not only for the “way the war is being handled”, but for the more serious issue of “going in the first place”. To say otherwise would be patently false. (and you know, that if weren’t, McQ would be all over “skillet” like stink on shit.)

Educated children are less likely to grow up to be criminals. In this case, educated Iraqi children will be less likely to grow up to be enemies of the United States.

Sorry Marble, 0 for 2.
Saddam Hussein – Cairo University
Yasser Arafat – Cairo University
Bin Laden—King Abdul Aziz University

(Okay, fellas’. New plan. We just bomb Cairo U)

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Go isolate yourself with your hatred all you want

LOL! What hatred?
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
To say otherwise would be patently false. (and you know, that if weren’t, McQ would be all over "skillet" like stink on shit.)

Huh. And not even an acknowledgment that I gave a Democrat (Clark) who I really can’t stand a pat on the back?

And after all that previous bitching.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
No need?

That’s right. What part of "no need" are you having trouble with?
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
Huh. And not even an acknowledgment that I gave a Democrat (Clark) who I really can’t stand a pat on the back?

Wow. You did.
And here I thought there was something wrong with my monitor. It’s good to know that it is in sound working order.

Consider it acknowledged. And filed under, "once in a blue moon".
;)

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
That’s right. What part of "no need" are you having trouble with?
The whole thing.

But before we get into that, let’s try a little measurement, shall we?
What is your opinion of The US’s actions in Kosovo?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Consider it acknowledged. And filed under, "once in a blue moon".

Heh ... you did notice I made up for it by indulging my "obsession with Dean", didn’t you?

But comeon, Pogue, even you’d have to agree that saying the best way to get Zarqawi in Iraq is to put our troops in another country is more than a little, uh, lame?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Damned Marshall plan!
That has nothing to do with the war on Iraq.

But is does have something to do with war, nation building, and "no benefits to America".

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’m seeing lots of stupidity about terrorists, again.
Time for a reminder (if people ever learned it in the first place):

Muslim Terrorist Leader (MTL) profile:
Raised in a religious, upper class or rich family. Educated through high school in native country (Muslim, and probably Middle-Eastern). Educated in college in the west. While in the west, shocked by the decadence, unnerved by the temptations. Full analysis uncertain, but MTL probably mourns loss of innocence, probably scared of westernization of home country with attendent decline of morals. Possibly disgusted/remorseful about own behavior. The only way to make world safe from evil temptations of sex and alcohol? Destroy the west. Probably recruited into terrorism through internet chatrooms, DVDs. After getting into terrorism, trains as a leader. Learns tactics, recruitment, planning, finance, communications, etc. Not considered expendable.

Muslim Terrorist Follower profile:
Raised in a religious, poor family. Low education, perhaps not beyond elementary school level. Possibly illiterate. Probably never left the region, possibly never left home country until mission. Recruited into terrorism by MTL in personal contact, or by impassioned mullah in mosque. After getting into terrorism, trained as gunman or suicide bomber. Learns to shoot, make bombs, detonate bombs, trained to be willing to die for cause.

Iraq has been one of the most secular of the middle-eastern nations. Iraq was one of the few (the others being, maybe Egypt and/or Kuwait, not sure) countries that you could major in something besides Islam in college. Which is why all those rich Muslim kids come to the west for college: you can’t get a Mechanical Engineering degree in Saudi Arabia.

So getting Iraq back up and getting schools built provides an example for the other nations of what a prosperous, non-extremist Muslim nation can be. Plus, less uneducated poor to recruit to be Muslim Terrorist Followers, and less rich brats shocked by their first exposure to the west recruited to become Muslim Terrorist Leaders.

For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed a trend that the more intelligent a person is, the more they are able to understand distant consequenes of immediate actions. I hope that’s not a factor in this conversation.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://www.chieflymusing.com
Heh ... you did notice I made up for it by indulging my "obsession with Dean", didn’t you?

Hey, man. I’m all about indulgences. For you, it’s Dean. For me, it’s Stout. So drink up my friend.

But comeon, Pogue, even you’d have to agree that saying the best way to get Zarqawi in Iraq is to put our troops in another country is more than a little, uh, lame?

Yeah, the jury’s still out for me on that one. I can never be too sure when Clark is speaking as a politician or as a military expert. But it doesn’t sound too promising.

But I tell ya, I’ve sure been racking the old noggin to figure out a plan ever since I heard that there was money involved.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Yeah, the jury’s still out for me on that one. I can never be too sure when Clark is speaking as a politician or as a military expert. But it doesn’t sound too promising.

Well you can rest your mind concerning Clark on this one. It was your buddy Dean who said it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Maaaa mistake.
(I really should start reading your posts) ;)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I really should start reading your posts.

Now don’t do yourself any favors, Pogue. If you did read them you might actually sound like you know what you’re talking about.

And we wouldn’t want that, would we?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Now don’t do yourself any favors, Pogue. If you did read them you might actually sound like you know what you’re talking about.

OH OH OH,
It’s on.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
What is your opinion of The US’s actions in Kosovo?
The bombing of Yugoslavia was state sponsored terrorism.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
So getting Iraq back up and getting schools built provides an example for the other nations of what a prosperous, non-extremist Muslim nation can be.
Irrelevant.

The terrorism against the US over the past 20+ years has been the work of a small group of extremist individuals. Religious zealots aren’t going to care about democracy if they belive that attacking the US is what their god wants them to do.

Democracy and prosperity are also meaningless when terror attacks are motivated out of revenge.

Tim McVeigh came from the most prosperous nation on earth. And all that prosperity was MEANINGLESS. He was determined to get revenge and nothing else mattered.

All you people have is a theory.
 
Written By: skillet
URL: http://
The bombing of Yugoslavia was state sponsored terrorism.

Now come on. Okay, you’ve lost me. I’ve traditionally been friendly towards liberals on this site for the sole fact that they are in the minority. This, however, is idiotic.
And I’ll cede the chair to those whom enjoy it most to rip you apart.

Have fun!!!
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
And I’ll cede the chair to those whom enjoy it most to rip you apart.

There are some, Pogue, who simply aren’t worth the effort.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Sorry Marble, 0 for 2.
I mentioned in a later post that it’s not just about the schools. Fryingpan is the one obsessed with schools and I tried to make a point relevent to his, but since his point is misdirected, the point I made was as well.

But sautepan is beyond arguing with. He cares about schools which taken out of context like he does would seem frivolous. But again, we removed their government and have a responsibility to restore what we can to get them back up and functioning. The fringe elements we speak of will have a harder time functioning in a democratic Iraq. It won’t eliminate them just like having cops doesn’t eliminate crime, but it will cut it down to local levels, and when they do, then the locals will assist in their capture as it’s their houses getting bombed.

But heaven forbid we build schools. I say give them school vouchers just to watch dutchoven’s head explode.

And as far as polls go, it’s still guess work. And yes, there is a trend of waivering support, and I attribute this to the relentless pounding of the negative from the Media. And no, I don’t attribute it to liberal bias, I attribute it to newspapers feeling they have to sell the stories with most impact and negative often works.

The friends I’ve had that were over there paint a completely different view than what you read in the papers. The blogs of people over there paint a much different picture too. While I’m far from believing it’s all roses and champagne it’s nowhere near as bad as the NY Times would have you believe.
 
Written By: Robb Allen (Sharp as a Marble)
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
Yep, abandoning the Afghanis after the Soviets were kicked out was certainly such a good long term strategy.

After all, what did schools, what their economy was like, and who was in charge in Afganistan have to do with us here...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
The bombing of Yugoslavia was state sponsored terrorism.
Now come on. Okay, you’ve lost me. I’ve traditionally been friendly towards liberals on this site for the sole fact that they are in the minority. This, however, is idiotic.
Look, I admit it; I boxed him in with that question. I further admit I planned it so. Once that question was popped, he had but two choices; Either he could say what he did, or he could say it was a good move, thus relegating himself to the ’Leftists at any cost" bin.

Well, all I can say now is, he’s an idiot, but consistantly so, at least.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
There are some, Pogue, who simply aren’t worth the effort.
Perhaps true, Bruce, but by God, SOMEONE hadda make the point.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Whew! Now we know where the expression "sharp as a skillet" comes from. Setting that sorry implement aside, the point of the discussion was Clark’s proposal. Wes is a brilliant mind and never one to look backward and wring his hands in dismay, like those twittering clucks Dean and Kerry.

Whatever his opinions of the move to war at the time of it’s inception, (he was one of the first to call it preordained, I think) it is now a fact, and the only alternative is to follow it through to an acceptable conclusion. Clark knew early on that the cadre of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Cheney felt the only solution to the fundamentalist Islam threat was a bold move into the heart of the Middle East. I think he was somewhat in agreement with that philosophy, but as a soldier had extreme misgivings about the timing and the execution of the move. That was where his ambivalence came from when questioned whther he would have supported the war if required to vote on it at the time. I think he thought it was basically a sound concept, but poorly and hastily executed. He was also pissed about the various half truths given to support the proposal, although in truth the American public would never be far seeing enough to agree to the real reason for the war.

"It is what it is" as Todd Bertuzzi would say. Clark (of all the Dems) has the courage and character to accept the hand that he has been dealt, and will play it out with dignity and honor.
 
Written By: beckham
URL: http://
"It is what it is" as Todd Bertuzzi would say. Clark (of all the Dems) has the courage and character to accept the hand that he has been dealt, and will play it out with dignity and honor.

Appreciate the commercial. Now back to reality.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
(Snicker)

Yeah, really.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
You’re equating giving to charity with war and occupation?

That’s absurd.
WTF?

I’m using your words buddy.

You’re the one who stated that rebuilding schools in Iraq does absolutely NOTHING for you, your family, your community, your state or your country.

You then spout that I’m equating charity with war and occupation. How the hell does rebuilding a school fit with the negative aspects of war and occupation? It’s a GOOD thing you selfish prick.

Understand?

GOOD thing.
 
Written By: Derek
URL: http://
Sorry for departing from the "reality" of this thread. I was under the foolish impression that it had something to do with WES CLARK’s Op-Ed proposal for troop redeployment in Iraq.

But upon further review, I see that it is a discussion centred around dumb partisan epithets and personal ego gratification. Nary a mention of Clark in 99% of the responses.

My mistake, back to "reality"........
 
Written By: beckham
URL: http://
But upon further review, I see that it is a discussion centred around dumb partisan epithets and personal ego gratification. Nary a mention of Clark in 99% of the responses.

Dumb partisan epithets as opposed to unpaid political commercials?

Hmmm ... I think I’ll opt for the "dumb partisan epithets", thankyouverymuch.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
As if my previous piledriver administered to skillet didn’t do the job, I see another point here I should have seen previously, and I think it still deserves making:
You’re equating giving to charity with war and occupation?
Hmmm.

char·i·ta·ble Audio pronunciation of "charitable" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (chr-t-bl)
adj.

1. Generous in giving money or other help to the needy.

Hmmm.

I think an argument can be made that the act of removing a dictator, by whatever means, inclduing by means of war, can be considered a charitable act. Certainly, those living under a dictatorship can be said to need the help.

And what larger gift can be had that someone willing to give up his life for another? To say nothing of the monetary and political problems such charity creates.. also a country... a people.... giving of themselves.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Bithead,

Skillet is a selfish prick. I regret trying to explain my charitable analogy in the previous post.

It just doesn’t matter to those people.
 
Written By: Derek
URL: http://
The bombing of Yugoslavia was state sponsored terrorism.
I actually just read that lunatic quote from Skillet and now feel bad for picking on him. I wasn’t aware that we were dealing with a ’special needs’ case.

It’s okay Skillet.

We’re here to help you.
 
Written By: Derek
URL: http://
Skillet is a selfish prick.
I guess that was part of my point. That he can’t defend his position any better than he does would seem to back your observation. If in fact his arguements were rooted in LOGIC, he’d have an easier time. As it is the reason we’re so able to tear him down to the componant atoms is because he isn’t rooting his arguments in logic at all, but rather a rather clear pattern of selfishness.

But of greater import, I would argue that so, too, are the vast majority of the left... to the tune of around 99%.

Look, the concept of Charitable Warfare as mentioned above, aside;

Consider the percived role of taxation on the left; Soak the rich so I can get mine on THEIR backs.

Consider the constant argument of the left for freedom without responsibility.

And then we get to the concept of someone else’s freedom not being worth fighting for.... and we start to see a pattern developing.

But, enough. Time to steer away from the bunny slope, this one having been mastered to the point of boredom...

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com

 
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